08 Dec '11, 1am

Study says marathon runners and extreme sports athletes damage their hearts temporarily

PARIS - Marathon runners and others engaging in extreme endurance exercise may temporarily damage the right ventricle of their hearts, researchers found. The impact on the ventricle, one of the four chambers involved in pumping blood around the body, was reversed after a week in most of the 40 athletes who took part in a study published in the European Heart Journal. Five of them, however, showed more lasting damage, the researchers found. Scientists led by Dr Andre La Gerche, a research fellow at the University of Melbourne's St Vincent Hospital, set out to probe the link between endurance exercise and heart function in a group of elite athletes in Australia who planned to compete in one of four sporting events: A marathon, an endurance triathlon, an alpine cycling race or an ultra-triathlon. They found that in most athletes, "the heart rebuilds in a manner such that it i...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/World/EDC111208-0000028/Marath...

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